When and how information and communication technology orientation affects salespeople’s role stress: the interplay of salesperson characteristics and environmental complexity
Kramer, Victoria; Krafft, Manfred
As empirical insights into when salespeople should integrate information and communication technology (ICT) into their sales tasks are limited, the purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of salespeople’s ICT orientation on role stress by considering the interplay of individual salesperson characteristics and the complexity of the selling environment, differentiating between customer and supplier complexity.
The authors develop an empirical framework based on the Job Demands-Resources model and previous research in the area of technology in sales. They test their hypotheses by means of a survey of 255 business-to-business salespeople which is analyzed using ordinary least squares regressions.
The results of this study show that ICT orientation generally helps salespeople to reduce role ambiguity. However, the benefits salespeople derive from ICT orientation to reduce role conflict depend on an interplay of both their job tenure and the average relationship duration with customers as well as the complexity of the selling environment.
This study contributes to research on the impact of technology use on salespeople by enhancing the understanding of contexts that make ICT valuable for them. In particular, the findings of this study demonstrate that the impact of ICT orientation on salespeople’s role stress depends on an interplay of individual salesperson characteristics, that is, resources, and environmental complexity characteristics, that is, demands.
Digitalization; Sales management; Salesperson characteristics; Complexity; Job demands-resources model